In Tari Ngangura’s article on Vice News, she states that the true horror and black comedy of the Oscar-winning film, “Get Out,” was the obliviousness of the white liberals who watch the movie and laugh at the micro-aggressive words of their on-screen counterparts. The white liberals are the so-called “non-racists” of society who laugh while they hurt and are excused for hurting with their subtly racist words, but I’m confused.
I first watched “Get Out” a few weekends ago with two friends, who are respectfully half-Hispanic and Caucasian. I am a Caucasian woman. As a group, we lean more moderate to liberal. We should arguably be the ones laughing, but none of us ever did. We didn’t find the behavior of the white liberals funny at all. We found it downright creepy and disturbing. Did we miss something? Did I miss something?
I couldn’t find the creepy Caucasians’ attitudes funny or that excusable. I couldn’t even try. It was so painfully awkward, cringe-worthy, and uncomfortable to endure as an audience. I could not feel anything but compassion for Chris. The scenes of the white liberals in that party making such bizarre comments felt like watching a teacher try to act cool for his students while he simultaneously lusted after their youth and beauty. It was dehumanizing and repulsive. I almost wanted to leave that house more badly than Chris did.
That’s why I’m confused. Jordan Peele surely wanted to convict the white liberals of their micro-aggressive ways, so this has to be a common enough occurrence to talk about it. But I do not act like that, and I don’t understand why anyone else would while still claiming not to be racist. Are their Caucasian humans like me who really find it normal to act like that and still consider themselves liberal and non-racist? How is that even possible?
I will admit that as a Christian woman I follow the principle of being as clever as a serpent and innocent as a dove. There are many things I know about and many things I’ve experienced that I would rather not talk about, so I definitely would not consider myself naïve. However, I try not to go out of my way to indulge in bad behavior either.
In addition, I have grown up in a church, school, and home environment that always stressed the equality of all God’s children. I was always taught that all humans were made in God’s image and that it was wrong to strip their dignity away by treating them like objects of lust. I was taught that humans who did that should not consider themselves good humans.
Could that be why I don’t understand their behavior? Am I really just too innocent to think that way myself? Am I more woke than I thought?
Maybe, maybe not. I know I have been guilty of treating others with less dignity than they deserved. I’m not perfect either, so really, maybe I am just like those creepy Caucasians. Maybe that’s why I find them so repulsive, because I see that behavior in myself and I don’t hate it as much as I should.
Either way, my African-American brothers and sisters, on behalf of all white liberals everywhere, I’m sorry. I never really understood micro-aggressions that well before I watched this movie, but now that I’ve thought about it, I can see why it’s so damaging. I hope you can forgive me, because I do not find this funny.